Cardiff Devils’ Evan Mosey isn’t sure if returning for the Great Britain team for the World Championships is for him this year, but isn’t completely ruling it out.
The 30-year-old has ended a long and personal journey, where a knee injury and subsequent surgery meant he’s missed the last nine months.
And while he’s glad to be back in action for Andrew Lord’s side, making his return on Saturday in their 4-3 win over Coventry Blaze, he’s not sure what the future holds.
But he admits returning to the ice after such a long lay-off was a special moment after a gruelling time out with such a serious injury.
“It was an unreal experience to get back on the ice with everybody,” he said. “It was pretty long overdue and it’s been eight months or something since the injury.
“To get back out and the get the reception I got really meant a lot. I’d been practising with the team for the last two months and you get the feel of that and put through the wringer with that.
“So to get thrown into a game, the rust was unbelievable. There would be plays going on and I’d find myself standing in the most random parts of the ice. In my head, I was wondering what I was doing.
“To get out there and complete in battle, with the atmosphere, it was unreal to be able to do that again and a nice feeling for me.
“I haven’t really decided about returning to the GB fold this year for the World Championships, but I’m not sure if it’s going to happen. With everything that’s happened, I don’t want to push myself too much. I haven’t decided what I’ll do beyond the end of this season.
“As much as I’m delighted to have been involved in helping GB reach the level they’re at, the last two times I’ve played, I’ve had two pretty serious injuries. I’d like to keep doing it, but I’d have to weigh up my options and decide the best thing for me going forward.
“I’m not ruling it out, but it doesn’t have the same allure it did a couple of years and I’m focussed on keeping myself healthy.”
Mosey’s return was a long time coming and what happened to him during the final World Championship game where GB stayed up courtesy of a Ben Davies overtime winner against France is forgotten among the significance of the success.
He recalled what happened during the game in Kosice and admits he knew straight away this would be an injury that would have long term ramifications.
He added: I think it was in the second period against France in the last game and I remember the puck got rimmed around the wall and I went down to pinch and the guy, it felt like, reversed hit me and I wasn’t really expecting it.
“I don’t know if he hit most of my knee, but next thing I knew I had gone down and was in a lot of pain. I managed to skate back to the bench and I instantly knew something wasn’t right. Even the skate to the bench, I knew there was a problem.
“I stayed on the bench until the end of the second and going back to the locker room, the knee started to feel better and stupidly, I went out for the third.
“Corey Neilson, who was the defensive coach, asked me if I could go out for a shift and as soon as went out to start skating, my whole knee was gone. It wasn’t happening.
“I made it back to the bench and watched the rest of the game. Even afterwards, I had a knee brace on after, but I had no idea it would be as serious as it turned out to be.”
Mosey also spoke of the road he’s taken to get to this point and admits it wasn’t an easy thing to overcome.
The physical aspect of it was one thing, but mentally, it was probably Mosey’s biggest challenge of his career and he tried to keep positive and stay focussed on getting back to fitness and hitting the ice again.
He admits going from being an active person to someone left idle as a result of the recovery process he had to undertake wasn’t something he was used to either.
But picking up a goal and an assist was a special moment for him personally, even if the team went down to a 6-3 loss to Guildford Flames.
He said: “It’s been such a slow process, which I hadn’t anticipated. I knew I had to start and build my way back and I understand that, but after the surgery, I couldn’t do a thing for a month or two.
“It was a slower process than I thought it would be and you had to take things one day at a time. It was mentally exhausting, but I saw little improvements every day. I didn’t suffer any setbacks thankfully as I worked my way back.
“But it was demoralising going and doing crazy workouts and smashing through it all the time to being brought back to square one and looking ridiculous just trying to do something as basic as walking.
“I had to keep a good attitude and there were times where I got a little down, but the support system here with my girlfriend, my family and everyone around keeping me motivated.”
“There were days where it felt like it was never going to happen, but everyone kept me going and my goal was get back in December.
“At one stage, I thought I was ready to return, but I was told I still had to take a few months more to make sure I was ready and I’m glad I did.
“Scoring on Sunday (against Guildford) was a special moment for me, just knowing how hard I worked to get back and it was pretty gruelling at times. I didn’t expect it to be this hard to be honest.
“The outcome of the game is not what we wanted of course, but for me, personally, it was a huge accomplishment and a great moment where all the work and perseverance paid off.”